Parasha & Herzl

Linking the Torah to the writing of Theodor Herzl

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The decades that transformed Judaism

Judaism was shaped through three brief periods of radical changes: the Abrahamic revolution that shaped Judaism 1.0; the 1st century CE destruction of the Temple that shaped Judaism 2.0; and the 20th century Zionist revolution that seeded Judaism 3.0

The exodus from Babel continues

God tells all of humanity Lech Lecha (Go!), but they defy his orders and entrench in Babel. One man hears God’s call , and sets a global divide that resurfaces in 21st century: Abraham’s Monotheism vs Babel’s supremacism

The fall of Universalism

European secularism, anchored in Universalism, has turned into the zealous religion of our time. A line can be drawn from Babel to today’s Europe

The longevity of Abraham’s foreign policy doctrine

Abraham and Herzl both realized that the Jewish state will only exist if it will be needed, not because it will be pitied

The night in Sodom that set back Abraham’s monotheistic revolution

Accommodating Lot’s interests came at a heavy price. To understand its magnitude, one needs to exit the monotheistic “conception” and enter the mindset of the other side

Deciphering Isaac’s error in choosing Esau

When there is no prophecy, one needs to resort to other mechanisms to determine the right course of action – and that can lead to mistakes

Jacob’s and Herzl’s Struggle

Herzl’s interpretation of Jacob’s conflict also is indicative of his own

Did Jacob Purchase Jerusalem?

New insight into King David’s claim to Jerusalem

Joseph and Herzl seeking their brethern

Two strangers, one who encountered Joseph and another who encountered Herzl, lead them to their brethren and change Judaism


From ‘Then Sang Moses’ to ‘Then Sang Herzl’

Herzl’s view of the Exodus from Europe in comparison to the Exodus from Egypt

The essence of the exodus from Egypt and from Europe

The exodus from Egypt and the one from Europe 3,000 years later are so similar that biblical critics in the far future might argue that they were on and the same

Passover as Jewish particularity

Herzl created a new anchor for Judaism, having concluded that the primary malaise of 2,000 years of exile was not the persecution, but rather the lack of unified Jewish political leadership

The failures of the Aharon-Hur administration

Ceremonial transitions of power and authority of an elite might be two lessons learned from the events of the Golden Calf

The Golden Calf reappears

Herzl predicted that once the Jewish States would be established, the dancers around the Golden Calf will be furious at him


The inauguration of Judaism 1.0

The Temple was the anchor of the first era of Judaism. This article takes us from its origin in the Parasha to its depiction by Herzl’s utopia, being visible from long distances, “for it is only our ancient faith that has kept us together.”


To Egypt or to Israel?

A transformation is recognized by Caleb and Joshua in the Parasha and later recognized by Herzl

Understanding Datan, Aviram and Post-Judaism 1.0

Judaism 3.0 gives us new tools to understand our past

Did Miriam die from her leprosy?

An interpretive autopsy of Miriam could cast a different light on the 40 years in the desert

The age-old question: Is God still with Israel?

Relationship with Israel have been a function of the world’s nations assessment of a basis question

The emergence of a Jewish elite

Herzl recognized the importance of having an elite, as long as the elites know their boundaries

The occupation & liberation of the Moabian territories

geopolitical realities in Parashat Balak can be used to understand today’s Middle East and Europe:


Moses’ secret formula for governance stability

Moses and Herzl both were concerned about governance continuity. The system Moses put in place outlast alternative solutions for policy continuity – such as monarchical dynasties and emergence of “deep state”

Unveiling our eyes

Moses seems to suggest that knowledge is already there, but we fail to recognize it due to a state of enslavement – nationally or personally. Herzl describes a similar situation – until his own eyes were unveiled.

Is the Israeli song ‘Oof Gozal’ a subconscious midrash for Sefer Dvarim?

God-fearing seculars is a new phenomenon in Judaism, and hence new tools are needed: Einstein’s song, as interpreted, provides such a conduit


It is based on a monthly column in the Jerusalem Post by Gol Kalev and related discussions that are held in Jerusalem.


Recent Event (December 15, 2019): Herzl Center

Recent Event (January 12, 2020): Machne Yehuda

Recent event (February 9, 2020): The Song of the Sea

In the Press: Jerusalem Post – Grapevine

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Gol Kalev’s Herzl articles

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